Tuesday 28 February 2017

Big guns on losing side in Aldi planning battle

Developer David Daly and former Irish Life & Permanent finance chief Peter Fitzpatrick are among dozens of objectors in a seaside store war

ALBANY Homes developer David Daly and former Irish Life and Permanent financial director Peter Fitzpatrick are among dozens of local residents who last week lost a planning battle over the construction of a new Aldi store in Portmarnock, Co Dublin.

Daly called on the services of a firm of planning consultants to object on his behalf, who argued that the store would be built away from the centre of the village, beside the White Sands Hotel -- which is already a site of noisy and antisocial behaviour -- and that it wouldn't be in keeping with the character of Portmarnock.

His consultants also suggested that the design of the store "is of no architectural merit" and would be "substandard" and "visually obtrusive" for a scenic waterfront location. They also complained that it would set a negative precedent for the village that might see further such developments nearby.

"The use of garish internally illuminated 'Aldi' signage along the scenic Coast Road is particularly offensive in this context and should not be permitted under any circumstances," according to the strongly worded objection.

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Beleaguered financier Niall McFadden has been busy extending a cottage he owns on the picture postcard island of Inishnee in Roundstone, Co Galway.

The work has been carried out both indoors and outside, perhaps indicating that he plans to spend more time in his home county, away from his recent financial troubles at Boundary Capital, in which he still owns a 45 per cent stake.

As well as relocating a new entrance with new walls, gates, piers and an access road for his home, an old extension has been knocked down and replaced by a new one, complete with a new bathroom, bay window, stone cladding and natural slate roof.

He has also carried out extensive landscaping works on the site of his home, draining the surrounding land and reseeding it in keeping with the rugged and windswept Connemara landscape, according to planning documents.

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Planners in Tipperary have ruled that the use of a helicopter landing pad beside one of Larry Goodman's meat plants in Cahir -- built on land zoned for industry -- is not an exempted type of development and "constitutes a material change of use".

While other high flying businesspeople were selling their choppers last year, the owner of Irish Food Processors spent €8m on a new eight-seater Dauphin helicopter made by the French firm Aerospatiale.

The company uses it to fly its managers between its operations here and in the UK, saving them valuable travelling time.

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Already a place associated with financial catastrophe and heartache for many Irish property investors, the fact that Bulgaria is no longer planning to join the euro looks set to prolong their pain.

According to Knight Frank's most recent global house price index, the Balkan country saw prices plummet by a staggering 28 per cent in the first three quarters of last year.

The prospect of it joining the euro was one of the big selling points that helped to lure in property investors from Europe, but now that prospect has been shattered -- spelling further misery for dozens of taxi drivers and anyone else who hoped to prosper on the back of it.

Sunday Independent

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